Windham Wednesdays with Bird Song

I fell in love with this collection by Clare Therese Gray for Windham Fabrics called Birdsong. Clare is an illustrator who lives in England on a farm with her husband and two young children. Her work reflects the countryside around her, I think!

 I was sent a set of fat quarters of Birdsong a few months ago and I kept taking them out and stroking them. Such lovely, sweet images. Let me show you.
Birdsong by Clare Therese Gray for Windham Fabrics
These prints include butterflies, flowers (of course!) and bird eggs. This color combination is one of my favorites and I put my thinking cap on to see what I could come up with. I was only going to make a few blocks. Ha!

I pulled out one of my upsized birdhouse paper pieced block which I call Home Tweet Home. This design dates back to 2002 when I created 12 paper pieced birdhouses in a much smaller size. This was very quick to paper piece because I had already worked out the cutting size of the different patches!

I made it as large as I could fit onto a standard piece of 8.5" x 11" paper. This is included in my Big Birdhouse Bonanza paper pieced pattern set of 10 Birdhouses (and a paper pieced cardinal) on Craftsy. (There are 10 upsized birdhouse patterns for paper piecing in heights of 10" and 12"; go take a look!)

Home Tweet Home: 7" x 10"
Here are a few more shots of my birdhouses.

Second birdhouse before trimming and adding the door opening
I selected some of Windham's Uncorked to use for the birdhouse doors.

Birdhouse #1 with a deep rust colored circle from Uncorked
 And my lighter birdhouse with the same color from Uncorked.

Birdhouse #2
Now, to prove to you I did use a paper pieced foundation:

Paper removed
Before trimming excess fabrics

I was working with ONLY fat quarters, and so wanted to get more than one or two blocks from each one. I designed a quick Cobblestone block with a rectangular center. I carefully cut 5-1/2" x 7" rectangles from the two main prints with the larger birds. And then moved on to the butterflies and the smaller bird print. And I made a lot of blocks! And kept sewing until I ran out of fabric (but I had the presence of mind to cut my border rectangles (4-1/2" wide) before I cut too many blocks).

The strips on the outside are cut: two 2-1/4" x 5-1/2" (top and bottom) and two 3" x 10-1/2" (sides).

Alternate Cobblestone Block: 10" finished
So, let's see this 55" x 58" quilt. I had to cut some "spacing strips" to add to the two rows that don't have a birdhouse (4-1/4" x 10-1/2"). Yes, I sew on the fly! I just try to stay a step or two ahead so I don't run out of fabric.

I gathered together my scraps and made 3 more blocks (after I finished the quilt below). Don't you just love these saucy birds?
Birdsong Scraps
My 3 new blocks:

Efficiency Birdhouse
Efficiency Birdhouse: 6" x 10"

Room for One Birdhouse (I put the bottom section on wrong, but don't tell anyone!)

Room for One Birdhouse: 6" x 10"
And my third scrappy birdhouse is the 60s A-Frame: 7-1/2" x 10"

60s A-Frame: 7-1/2" x 10"
Here's my finished quilt awaiting binding. Remember, I only had fat quarters! Yes, you can make a good sized quilt using only fat quarters (I had 16). Windham is sending me more of that wonderful turquoise bird's egg print for binding! I just LOVE this quilt. And I used only one of my 10 Birdhouse patterns. You can see some of the others at Craftsy.

Pecking Order: 55" x 58"
Birdsong is scheduled to arrive in quilt shops in August. Check out your LQS so you can look at them up close! Or click that Birdsong link.

Hope you've enjoyed the show today. This may become a class/workshop. I love that it combines paper piecing with simple Cobblestone blocks that AREN'T square in the center.


  1. So beautiful blocks and love how you play with the fabrics!!

    1. Thanks, Rosa. I no longer receive email notifications of blog comments so I don't always get back to visitors in a timely manner. When there is beautiful fabric, it just seems to design itself! thanks for stopping by!

  2. Blogger still hasn't fixed the issue of me receiving notification of comments here. I do appreciate all comments and will check back in to see what's up!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I think Blogger has finally fixed this issue. I should be receiving emails from all commenters from now on. Finally a way to get rid of the spammers!

  5. You are and will always be my favorite designer because of your improvisation. great finish.

    1. Marie, that is just the nicest thing! My improvisation mostly has to do with "making do with what I have" and stretching it out. My former editor (at Quilt Magazine) knew she could throw anything at me and I would make it work. I love those types of challenges. Thanks again!

  6. I am loving this quilt and I have some bird fabric that would work great with others for a scrappy quilt. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  7. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous! I really like this little improvisation. And don't worry about answering all my comments. I'm catching up on a bunch I missed when I was in school.

  8. You made great progress.This is really pretty and good idea on site !



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